I went on an excursion into Boston today with my mother (visiting from California) and my son. My son has a school project this year for which he is encouraged to visit various historic and culturally significant sites in Massachusetts. We went to the State House (just the outside), hit a few more landmarks on the Freedom Trail, and then headed to the Boston Public Library. Getting out of the T station at Copley, we were greeted by banners at the beautiful Old South Church proclaiming: “Love thy (Muslim) neighbor as thyself.” I was very heartened by this message of love and inclusion, what I see as an overt and beautiful response to the islamophobia that is running rampant among many in this country. (And which is sickeningly encouraged by the President-elect.)
I have been running behind in my enumeration of gratitude, which I had intended to post here daily this month. However, tonight, it is easy for me to say that I am immensely grateful to live in Massachusetts: a state not only rich in history, but which has frequently shown itself to be on the right side of history. While not everyone in the state feels the same way I do, Massachusetts voters by and large choose social progress. And there are many, many people in Massachusetts speaking out loudly for these ideals.
My mind, like this glass of water, is more than half full these days. Indeed, it feels close to overflowing. (Unlike the glass in these images.)
Tonight, I am grateful for clean water. It is so easy to take for granted ready access to water that is fit for drinking, as well as for washing. I am lucky to live in a place where water is generally plentiful and clean. Of course, it shouldn’t be about luck. Every human being should have access to something as critical to life and health as safe drinking water.
My sister and nephews are visiting, and we managed a big excursion into Boston today to go to the Museum of Science. We’ve had a membership for the last few years, and go regularly. In spite of having been there numerous times, there are always new things to notice. (Whether they are new attractions, or just spaces we hadn’t managed to visit yet.)
For my daily(ish) enumeration of gratitude, I offer my gratitude to science.
Today was a beautiful day, and I managed to spend a bit of time outside in the woods with the kids and puppy. It is good for me to be out in the fresh air, and away from the lure of my laptop, and the constant stream of news. I am still in shock about the election results, still grieving about them, and still worried sick about what this will all mean for the future.
This month, in addition to posting daily, I have been working to take stock of the many things for which I am grateful. While I have successfully managed to post something every day so far this month, there have been a few nights when I have been too tired to come up with a new item. (Or sometimes it’s more that I want to be able to devote more time to write about the things for which I am grateful.) In any case, I skipped the last couple of nights, so I owe 3 items for today.
First, I am grateful for having a life that is so full that it is often a struggle to find time to sit down and take stock. While I often feel overloaded with demands on my time and energy, I recognize that these demands are due to having many good things and good people in my life.
Second, I am grateful that I am stubborn. This stubbornness (or persistence, to use a more positively weighted term) pushes me to keep working on things, keep working through things, and work towards goals.
Third, I am grateful for having clean air to breathe.
These are some photos I took of bittersweet back in September. I first saw the unopened yellow berries, and didn’t actually recognize them. But then I saw the open ones, with their characteristic red berries in the open yellow shell, and realized that they were bittersweet. (I guess that makes it a bittersweet realization.¹)
I’m finding myself too tired tonight to write much. I am barely holding my eyes open. I was going to take a rain check on the gratitude enumeration, but I thought of something bittersweet for which I am grateful. I am grateful to have known amazing people who are now gone, but not forgotten.
¹ Honestly, I did not come into this post intending to make a pun. It’s like they come to me unbidden.
Life has given the world a big fat lemon. I’m not ready to make lemonade yet, but I’m working up to it. Looking for recipes, as it were.
Tonight, I am grateful to the many good people in the world who are continuing to fight for good. When times look dark (and believe me, the prospects of the next administration look bleak), there are still people who inspire me, remind me that I am not alone, and help to keep that little spark of hope going in me.
Today, I am grateful for trees. I love them for their beauty, their shade, and shelter they provide to wildlife. I am also rather partial to breathing the air that they add oxygen to. I am very lucky to live in the woods, where I have only to look out the window to see trees. I find it calming to walk in the woods, too.
Here are a few photos I’ve taken of trees. (Most of these are near me in Massachusetts, but one photo is from New York.)